Practical stuff first. In the back of an RS3, there’s room for two average-sized adults to travel in decent comfort, but three would be a squeeze. This is not an Audi Avant, remember.

This point if further evidenced behind the rear seats; the boot volume is only 302 litres to the parcel shelf and just over 1000 litres with the rear seats folded. For outright carrying capacity, that makes the RS3 only marginally more practical than an average five-door hatch. But given that the kind of cars that make up the RS3’s competition are mostly three-door hatches and two-door coupés, this Audi is still a useful car relative to its peers.

The boot volume is 302 litres to the parcel shelf

Up front, you’ll be aware that you’re driving a hatchback – and a relatively old design of one at that. The driver’s seat is a little high for our liking and the RS3’s overall driving environment – although lifted by some black gloss and carbon-look trim, a chunky sports steering wheel and some RS-branded sports seats – looks sombre and dated in places.

Most notably, the centre console is dominated by black switches and the controller for Audi’s MMI (multi-media interface) system is sited on the dashboard rather than, more conveniently, on the transmission tunnel.

Still, it’s consistently smart and looks and feels to be of high quality.

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